Category Archives: Blackout Poetry

white noise

white noise

I am bones, marrow,
a song in mute, white
noise silence, a blank
nothing, my soul red,
I am a glimpse, a breath
I am undone by worry
turning to dust


A Blackout Poem inspired by the poem below by Afaa Michael Weaver.


I am a city of bones
deep inside my marrow,
a song in electric chords,
decrescendo to mute, rise
to white noise, half silences
in a blank harmony as all
comes to nothing, my eyes
the central fire of my soul,
yellow, orange, red—gone
in an instant and then back
 I am, for a glimpse,
as precise as a bird’s breath,
when I am perfect, undone
by hope when hope will not
listen, the moon wasting
to where I need not
that bones turn to ash,
a brittle staccato in dust.

the empty perhaps – a Blackout Poem


prepared me for
leaving, headed
somewhere, far
into the empty
perhaps waiting
for me


A Blackout Poem based on the poem below by Heiu Minh Nguyen:

Uptown, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Even though it’s May & the ice cream truck
parked outside my apartment is somehow certain,
I have a hard time believing winter is somehow,
all of a sudden, over — the worst one of my life,
the woman at the bank tells me. Though I’d like to be,
it’s impossible to be prepared for everything.
Even the mundane hum of my phone catches me
off guard today. Every voice that says my name
is a voice I don’t think I could possibly leave
(it’s unfair to not ask for the things you need)
even though I think about it often, even though
leaving is a train headed somewhere I’d probably hate.
Crossing Lyndale to meet a friend for coffee
I have to maneuver around a hearse that pulled too far
into the crosswalk. It’s empty. Perhaps spring is here.
Perhaps it will all be worth it. Even though I knew|
even then it was worth it, staying, I mean.
Even now, there is someone, somehow,
waiting for me.



mist-like rain
roses adorning
the wind sighs
my soul sings
‘tis morning


I couldn’t sleep before assuaging the Muse after that dreadful NaPoWriMo! A Blackout Poem was just what I needed to lure her back from hiding! 😉 based on the poem below, found words on bold text:


Paul Laurence Dunbar – 1872-1906

The mist has left the greening plain, 
The dew-drops shine like fairy rain
The coquette rose awakes again 
     Her lovely self adorning
The Wind is hiding in the trees, 
A sighing, soothing, laughing tease, 
Until the rose says “kiss me, please” 
    ‘Tis morning, ’tis morning. 
With staff in hand and careless-free, 
The wanderer fares right jauntily, 
For towns and houses are, thinks he, 
   For scorning, for scorning,
My soul is swift upon the wing, 
And in its deeps a song I bring; 
come, Love, and we together sing
“‘Tis morning, ’tis morning.” 

heaven is silent – NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 5

heaven is silent

darkness softly creeping
heaven closed
my restless dreams turn cold
there’s a wall
the night speaking without a sound
a songbird sings,
words echoed in warning,
the piper will change your soul…
the prophets whispered in silence,
we all want to buy heaven


A Blackout poem for NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 15: write a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music. I chose two favorite songs, Jimmy Page / Robert Plant’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Paul Simon’s “The Sounds of Silence”. As an extra challenge to myself. I alternated lines from the found words in each song to create the poem above.

Found words are highlighted in bold below:

The Sounds of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools, ” said I, “You do not know
Silence, like a cancer, grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells, of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Songwriter: Paul Simon

Stairway to Heaven

There’s a lady who’s sure
All that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to Heaven
When she gets there she knows
If the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Oh oh oh oh and she’s buying a stairway to Heaven
There’s a sign on the wall
But she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook
There’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiving
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder
There’s a feeling I get
When I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen
Rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who standing looking
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it really makes me wonder
And it’s whispered that soon, If we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn
For those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow
Don’t be alarmed now
It’s just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on
And it makes me wonder
Your head is humming and it won’t go
In case you don’t know
The piper’s calling you to join him
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow?
And did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll
And she’s buying a stairway to Heaven

Songwriters: Jimmy Page / Robert Plant

etched in silver – a blackout poem

etched in silver

i’m a woman
no longer young
changed by water
and wind, etched
in silver and want
hot flesh, a face
disappearing into


A blackout poem based on the poem below by Allison Funk:

Self-Portrait in the Nude

To understand what it would be like
          to remove my clothes
as painters do in portraits of themselves

          I imagine I’m the woman
who knows her body
no longer belongs to the young artist

who painted herself before she had children,
          before her topography was changed
by forces erosive as water and wind,

    and yet she goes on painting it,
the girdle of her earth that is now an etched terrain
crossed with silver rivulets.

And hills, I want to say to her.
          Valleys. Then hummocks,
hot springs, hoodoo. What is art about

          if not depression? Uplift? Depression
 At which she straightens

          the flesh of her shoulders and neck

to face me before I disappear(ing)
into landscape,
my favorite state of undress.

Copyright © 2018 Allison Funk.

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